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Professor Luiz Braga Campos’ 50-year career celebrated at Técnico

Professor Luiz Braga Campos’ long and outstanding academic path was highlighted during the ceremony held last Wednesday.

Professor Luiz Braga Campos’ academic jubilee brought together dozens of students, colleagues and family members, who highlighted professor Luiz Braga Campos’ remarkable career and outstanding contributions to Aerospace Engineering.

The president of Técnico, professor Rogério Colaço, highlighted the long and fruitful career of the honoree. “Professor Braga Campos has contributed to the success of Aerospace Engineering course and he has left his mark on successive generations of students”, said the president of Técnico, who also praised the honoree “perseverance”, “competence” and “work capacity”.

According to professor Fernando Lau, current colleague of professor Luiz Braga Campos, “it is undeniable that the scientific activity carried out by professor Braga Campos in the last 50 years is immense and diversified”. “Professor Luiz Braga Campos authored 157 scientific articles in 63 different magazines in his main research areas: mathematics, physics, mechanics and aeronautics”, he pointed out. “The MSc in Aerospace Engineering is clearly a success thanks in large part to professor Braga Campos’ ideas and projects. The professor has been working hard to promote the Aerospace Engineering course abroad” .

Professor Luiz Braga Campos recalled his college days, his first days at Técnico as a professor and the creation of Aerospace Engineering course. He spoke about the professors who inspired him, the curricular unit he failed, “the outdated textbooks and the disparities in higher education”. After getting a degree from Técnico he went to Cambridge to do a PhD. Professor Luiz Braga Campos applied for a scholarship that presupposed “the commitment of returning to Portugal and teach at least 10 years”, although “there was no penalty for those who didn’t fulfill the commitment”. The Técnico professor returned to Portugal and faced a stark contrast to what he was used to, namely in terms of research. “There were no conditions to carry out research. Returning to Portugal was like falling into a very deep pit with little light”, said professor Luiz Braga Campos.

“I thought that, if more than 600 engineers were working in aeronautic field in Portugal, an engineering course should be created”, said the professor. Although the idea was not well received at Técnico, “the aeronautic engineering course was created and was taught exclusively by Técnico faculty”. It was a success “despite the limited resources”. “This success has been achieved thanks to a group of professors who created more than 20 new curricular units, including the first 10”, said professor Luiz Braga Campos. “I made a list of all people, because without them the aerospace engineering course would not have existed at Técnico; and also because I received the majority of attention and it is my duty to share the success with all people involved.

According to professor Luiz Braga Campos, this ceremony means “that professional duties have been fulfilled to the institution” and that “new faculty will continue the work”. “The academic jubilee can be many things: the end of an activity, a change of course or a continuation of work with less support and more freedom”, he added. “Throughout generations and decades there have always been faculty and staff who contributed to Técnico’ s greatness through their work and commitment. I am sure it will continue to be like this”, said the Técnico professor.

Professor Pedro Coelho, president of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (DEM), thanked professor Braga Campos “for his legacy on students, knowledge sharing among colleagues, contributions to the development of DEM through his ideas, projects and scientific publications”.

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